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JOURNAL ARTICLE

'Feeling younger, remembering better': the effect of experimentally induced subjective age on memory performance among Chinese older adults

Jingjin Shao, Luxia Xiao, Li Zhang, Ziqiang Xin
Aging & Mental Health 2018 November 26, : 1-8
30475074

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to explore whether experimentally induced younger subjective age can lead to better memory performance among Chinese older adults.

METHOD: A total of 203 participants aged 60-84 years were randomly assigned to three groups. In the positive and neutral feedback groups, participants were told that their memory performance was better than and equivalent to the same-aged peers after an initial memory task, respectively, in contrast to no feedback in the control group. Participants then completed a second memory measure.

RESULTS: The results revealed that participants in the positive feedback group felt younger and showed a significant increase in memory performance, whereas participants in the neutral feedback group felt older but also showed a significant increase in memory performance. For participants in the control group, no significant changes in memory performance were observed.

CONCLUSION: It seems that experimentally induced younger subjective age can lead to better memory performance among older adults, providing a promising strategy to maintain memory functioning in old age.

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